LONDON – Lufthansa has upped the sustainability ante this week through a major deal with VARO Energy for large amounts of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
Via a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Lufthansa aims to receive SAF from VARO Energy as early as 2026.
The German carrier will help the supplier in the market ramp-up and use of SAF, with there expected to be 260,000 tons of fuel produced by VARO annually.
Lufthansa & Sustainability…
At the moment, Lufthansa uses a 50% blend of SAF, which consists of biogenic residual materials such as cooking oil.
The other 50% is your standard kerosene at the moment due to the fact that blends above 50% have not been approved by regulators.
The Lufthansa Group has set itself ambitious climate protection goals and aims to achieve a neutral CO₂ balance by 2050.
By 2030, the Lufthansa Group wants to halve its net CO₂ emissions compared to 2019 through reduction and compensation measures.
The reduction roadmap until 2030 was validated by the independent Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) in August 2022.
The Lufthansa Group was the first airline group in Europe with a science-based CO₂ reduction target in line with the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
To reduce CO₂, the Lufthansa Group is focusing in particular on accelerated fleet modernization, the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels, the continuous optimization of flight operations, and offers for its private travelers and corporate customers to make a flight or the transport of cargo more sustainable.
Competition on Sustainability Encouraging Environmental Growth…
Such competition on the sustainability front is intensifying in a way that is going to benefit the environmental health of the planet moving forward.
The two binding multi-year contracts are going to help the airline incorporate at least 10% SAF on all of its flights by the end of this decade.
The first deliveries of the fuel are expected to take place next year.
As a breakdown, Neste will supply one million tons between 2023-2030, with DG Fuels supplying 600,000 tons between 2027-2036.
Benjamin Smith, the CEO of Air France-KLM, commented on this significant order of SAF:
“Decarbonisation is the biggest challenge the aviation industry has ever faced. Air France-KLM is activating all available levers to reduce its environmental impact: fleet renewal, eco-piloting, and the increased use of certified Sustainable Aviation Fuels”,
“The contracts we have signed embody our long-term commitment to the development of SAF production capabilities around the world to the benefit of the industry as a whole.”
“We look forward to working with Neste and DG Fuels, with whom we have established solid partnerships which will pave the way to the creation of a global network of providers capable of meeting our future needs.”
It remains clear that this deal between Lufthansa & VARO Energy will continue to propel the SAF market to where it needs to be.
With many airlines committing to a reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030, the pressure is now on for airlines to achieve this, especially as we are three years into the decade that has gone by so quickly.
For now, all eyes are on Lufthansa to see whether they can make this a reality or whether they can exceed expectations moving forward.